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Technical Spearfishing Technical Scuba diving is generally defined as going deeper than 130 feet. You must have the proper training for this extreme aspect of spearfishing.

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Old 09-23-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
Mobile Diver
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2 embolisms

A Tale of 2 Embolisms. A friend & I suffered Arterial Gas Embolisms (AGE) almost exactly a year apart, on very similar dives, on the same boat, in almost the exact same location, while we were diving together. Both dives:
1) @185fsw
2) Back gas was air
3) Short bottom times because the anchor was dragging
4) No computer violations
5) Onset of symptoms within 3-4 minutes
6) Paralyzed on 1 side Ė his left, my right
7) Fully resolved on surface O2 within 30 minutes
8) We both walked up on the dock when we got back
9) Both took a level 1 chamber ride as a precaution
10) Both have resumed diving with no aftereffects
A few differences:
1) My dive had 3-4 minutes bottom time; his was a true bounce dive
2) My ascent was slower due to the amount of scope on the anchor
3) I switched to 50% O2 @ 70fsw even though I didnít need to as I wasnít sure I could use the O2 hang reg because of the current. I was able to use it so I had quite a bit safety margin.
Posted for information purposes only. Informed, thoughtful comments are welcome.
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:00 PM   #2
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Re: 2 embolisms

Are you sure you don't have PFOs? That makes more sense.

AGE is usually from holding your breath on the way up.

C
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:10 AM   #3
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Re: 2 embolisms

Mobile Diver

I would prospect to say that this thread is derived from the hell diver thread, as I just seen the Convo going over the dive profile. And don't get me wrong there's nothing more than I enjoy is the air versus tri mix diving.

Now as a long time air diver, and have been in many of these threads through the years, the part everyone leaves out is everything leading up to the dive.
In the Great Lakes when diving the wrecks many years ago before the zebra mussels really clear the visibility out. Narcosis was a huge factor. we all had certain symptoms at some point or another.
I like how you had a reg hanging down, that was our norm we would have 3 to 4 regs
Off of a commercial oxygen bottle.

So if you can remember what you and him did the prior day or two before because that explains a lot more details, because that explains more of what and why can happen on air dives decompressing and their faults.

And no my analyst doesn't come from the Internet it's only from my own experiences.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:45 PM   #4
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Re: 2 embolisms

Quote:
Originally Posted by cldomson1 View Post
Are you sure you don't have PFOs? That makes more sense.

AGE is usually from holding your breath on the way up.

C
Not far as either of us knows. The hyperbaric docs didn't seem to think that was a factor either.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:48 PM   #5
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Re: 2 embolisms

Quote:
Originally Posted by kehloken View Post
Mobile Diver

I would prospect to say that this thread is derived from the hell diver thread, as I just seen the Convo going over the dive profile. And don't get me wrong there's nothing more than I enjoy is the air versus tri mix diving.

Now as a long time air diver, and have been in many of these threads through the years, the part everyone leaves out is everything leading up to the dive.
In the Great Lakes when diving the wrecks many years ago before the zebra mussels really clear the visibility out. Narcosis was a huge factor. we all had certain symptoms at some point or another.
I like how you had a reg hanging down, that was our norm we would have 3 to 4 regs
Off of a commercial oxygen bottle.


So if you can remember what you and him did the prior day or two before because that explains a lot more details, because that explains more of what and why can happen on air dives decompressing and their faults.

And no my analyst doesn't come from the Internet it's only from my own experiences.
Don't know about the other thread. Neither of us did anything unusual before the dive.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: 2 embolisms

Steve, Based on the details you provided, it sounds like the current was a factor. While ascending from a deep dive, it doesn't take much in a working situation to inadvertently forget to exhale for a few seconds or feet. If this happens with full lungs, an AGE could easily happen and since you're ascending, the resulting problem will only grow larger as pressure decreases.
It's impossible to know exactly what happened from the details you provided. But, heres the way I see it.

Your max PO2 was slightly less than 1.4 at your max depth, fine.
Your bottom time was only 3-4 minutes, fine.
You switched to a higher O2 blow off mix for a safety stop, fine.
(Question, did you have to struggle to switch to your O2 mix? This could easily have diverted your attention and contributed to a failure to properly breathe in/out)

The fact that your had numbing on one side really sounds like a bubble in your spine. The fact that the symptoms abated with O2 treatment further reinforces that theory.

All aspects of a deeper dive are important, but IMHO the ascent is critical.

Based on the details you provided, I'd put my $$$ on an AGE. Could be something else, but an AGE seems most likely.

Glad you both are OK. Best, Dan
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:13 PM   #7
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Re: 2 embolisms

Dan,

I videoed my dive, my friend didn't. I will review it for a breath hold on ascent.

There was some work from the current, but nothing we don't contend with regularly. No real issues switching to my pony (50%) or the hang reg (100%).

According to my research, the entire side going numb combined with the 3-4 minute onset is pretty definitive for AGE.

Thanks much for your thoughtful comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadHunter View Post
Steve, Based on the details you provided, it sounds like the current was a factor. While ascending from a deep dive, it doesn't take much in a working situation to inadvertently forget to exhale for a few seconds or feet. If this happens with full lungs, an AGE could easily happen and since you're ascending, the resulting problem will only grow larger as pressure decreases.
It's impossible to know exactly what happened from the details you provided. But, heres the way I see it.

Your max PO2 was slightly less than 1.4 at your max depth, fine.
Your bottom time was only 3-4 minutes, fine.
You switched to a higher O2 blow off mix for a safety stop, fine.
(Question, did you have to struggle to switch to your O2 mix? This could easily have diverted your attention and contributed to a failure to properly breathe in/out)

The fact that your had numbing on one side really sounds like a bubble in your spine. The fact that the symptoms abated with O2 treatment further reinforces that theory.

All aspects of a deeper dive are important, but IMHO the ascent is critical.

Based on the details you provided, I'd put my $$$ on an AGE. Could be something else, but an AGE seems most likely.

Glad you both are OK. Best, Dan
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:58 AM   #8
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Re: 2 embolisms

It is always a ?
You can rule out things as they go along, what we noticed is if we would go dirt biking and go by the water to see that the waves kick down some, then dive, and so on for a few days in a row. Sometimes we have problems and sometimes we would not. Variables were sleep, hydration, who hydrated with beer or liquor. It's humid in Michigan and hot in the summer.

Interesting post and that you videoed it for replay, hopefully some Sense will come out of this for you. What was the visibility like for you and him, with dragging anchor were ya having to hold onto the line with any kind of strength.
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